Want the hot goss from the BBC ballroom? Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood reveals all the celebrity drama from this year's show.
Has there ever been a more dramatic Strictly! News of Seann Walsh’s tongue tango with dance partner Katya Jones broke while they were on air, Bruno fell off his chair, Kate Silverton stumbled down the stairs and, let’s not forget Lee Ryan’s ridiculous white high heels. Just another average weekend for judge Craig Revel Horwood at the BBC ballroom.
It’s no wonder, Craig got home from Elstree Studios at 3.30am. I think we would’ve all hung around the bar to see what car crash moments might unfold, despite the early wake up call to leave his Hampshire home. He was heading into Berkshire to officially open Rosebourne in Aldermaston – a brand new one-stop shop for local produce, gifts and plants.
While we samba’d around the fresh fruit and veg, past the butchers and into the restaurant for a well earned cuppa, Craig talked Strictly, sausage rolls and the A lister he’s desperate to see on the show, but can you guess who? George Clooney? Pippa Middleton? Prince Harry?…
“Darling it has to be Simon Cowell. I say that only because The X Factor‘s ratings aren’t doing particularly well and, if he came on our show, they would actually go up. I’m just trying to help him out.” Always thinking of others. And Simon already has the wardrobe: high waisters, heeled shoes and a shirt open to his naval.
The show has been criticised in recent years for the lack of star quality, and I must confess, without Google I wouldn’t necessarily know some of the people on there, but it’s not enough to make me grumble. “The press did a lot of complaining, ‘Who the hell is Joe Suggs?’ and all of that, but he has 8million followers.
“That’s great! It’s the way the world it’s going. Social media, immediate news when you want it. We live in an immediate world you have to move with the times and it introduces Strictly to whole new audience.”
Probably explains why they’re winning the Saturday night ratings war.
Who does he tip to win this year? “I couldn’t possibly say, but I know who I like. I think Faye [Tozer] is fantastic – she’s absolutely brilliant. I love Ashley [Roberts] as well. They’re both incredible dancers. My eye is one Seann at the moment (I think we all have our eye on Seann right now). He’s either up or down, dancing really badly and out of time or he’s amazing. You never know what you’re going to get and I sort of like that.”
Seann and Katya will dance the Charleston this weekend and you can be sure everyone will be tuning in after the pair were photographed snogging in the street, the weird media apology to their real life partners and the classy dumping by Rebecca Humphries (who has skipped off into the sunset with the cat). YESS! Apparently the atmosphere in the bar afterwards was horrendous, but sometimes you can’t tear yourself away.
Nothing Craig loves more than a bit of drama. “I like the fact some people fall down the stairs. Like Kate [Silverton] did last night which I thought was brilliant. That made my night. It has been fantastic and the talent on the show is extraordinary.”
Craig is a walking talking glitter ball, fun, charming, tall and very normal. Not the Mr Nasty he plays on the show at all. He left the bright lights of London to move to the Hampshire countryside and you’ll often see him pottering doing his shopping on a Sunday just like the rest of us.
“After 30 years in London, I moved to Hampshire, near Weyhill, fell in love with a horticulturist, who has since moved in, and we needed plants for the acreage. Off we went to Rosebourne and bought every single plant in the shop. I love the fact there’s a butcher, baker… the sausage rolls are amazing, by the way. And I now find myself popping in all the time.”
He’s got his eye on a £7,000 elephant statue, “it’s waving it’s trunk at me, darling” at the Aldermaston store. So if it’s missing it’s probably packed his trunk and headed back to Hampshire.
Strictly Come Dancing, BBC1, Saturdays, 6.40pm
Rosebourne, Basingstoke Rd, Aldermaston, Reading RG7 4LD